Accordion artist Maria Kalaniemi has been chosen member of the The Royal Swedish Academy of Music (Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien).
The nomination pays tribute to Maria Kalaniemi, who has developed Finnish folk music and exported it to the world with her virtuoso playing style.
According to The Royal Swedish Academy of Music, Kalaniemi has renewed the concept of accordion as a solo instrument as well as band instrument with her lyrical and powerful way of playing. In addition to being an artist professor and music director, Kalaniemi has released plenty of music – her last album was ”Svalan” with multi-instrumentalist Eero Grundsröm. Kalaniemi is also a significant benchmark for young accordion players.
Maria Kalaniemi is a respected musician and pedagogue who has taught at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Sibelius Academy for many decades.
Other Finnish Royal Swedish Academy of Music members include composers Kalevi Aho, Kaija Saariaho and Aulis Sallinen along with conductors Susanna Mälkki, Jorma Panula and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Kalaniemi is one of the few nominees outside of the classical music genre in The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Music was founded by King Gustav III in 1771. Today, the Academy is an independent institution with the purpose to promote art music and musical life.